Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Report on meeting of faculty on February 8, 2010

1. The meeting began at 5pm in 1314 Social Science and adjourned at 7pm. Fifteen faculty from about a dozen departments attended, including Marti Hope Gonzales, Chair of the FCC.

2. Since this was our first meeting, attendees concentrated on sharing thoughts about the current budget situation and brainstormed about ideas for moving forward. Given that the snowstorm kept many people from attending, we felt that we could not make any major decisions tonight, but we did agree on some very basic steps:

a) The need for more information about the University budget - Attendees expressed support for efforts by the FCC to obtain detailed and easily interpretable budget data from the University administration. We asked that Marti convey our deep concern about the lack of transparency in the budget process to the FCC.

b) Coordination with other groups on campus - Attendees agreed that faculty need to reach out to other groups on campus. AFSCME has invited us to send representatives to a meeting this Thursday. AFSCME, in conjunction with student groups on campus, has been organizing a campaign, Chop from the Top. We will send at least one representative to this meeting.

c) March 4 action - AFSCME and other groups involved in the Chop from the Top campaign are planning for a major rally on March 4. As those of you following the University of California fiasco know, March 4 has been declared a national day of action to defend public education. We agreed that we should try to mobilize a large faculty turnout for this event.

d) Furloughs - although it remains uncertain whether the administration will impose furloughs, we discussed various options for responding to the furloughs. This will be a top agenda item at the next meeting. We also ask you to share your thoughts by commenting on the blog that we set up for soliciting input and encouraging discussion on core issues that came up in our discussions today: http://umnfaculty.blogspot.com/ (Please note: this is a public blog so if you don't want your name associated with a post, please take care in creating your id.)

3. Scheduling another meeting - if you are interested in attending the next meeting, please go to:
and select the times that work for you. There are nine time slots on MWF listed. Please respond no later than Thursday evening so we can announce the next meeting time no later than the end of this week. At this next meeting we will try to come up with concrete steps that we can take moving forward.

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